Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Perseverance pays

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

We won planning permission today for an exciting infill development in Portsmouth. It has been a long game…only took 4 years to finally get approval at committee! Perseverance clearly pays.

It is a great scheme and we are pleased to see that the negotiation with the LPA was worthwhile.

Aerial view of originally submitted scheme pre-negotiation

Designing more than 1% of houses

Monday, March 26th, 2018

A quick review of the net housing supply data for last year reveals that we are designing over 1% of the office to residential conversions delivered under Prior Approval.  There were 17,751 in the year 16/17, up from just under 13,000 the year before. If we assume a similar number for this year we will have designed well above 1% of them. It feels good to be making a meaningful contribution to solving the #housingcrisis

A beautiful thing

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Models of The Valley, Stanmore. A beautiful thing!

Prior Approval expertise

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Snug Architects have built up a wealth of experience in the design and delivery of Prior Approval schemes. The conversion of offices to residential use under permitted development rights is delivering much needed new housing and quickly. It is also repurposing mid twentieth century buildings that are no longer viable as offices. This  approach to housing delivery has its challenges and certainly has its critics but there can be no doubt it is injecting new life into city centres at a pace that cannot be matched b y the new build development industry. It is also bringing forward some of the most low cost housing available. This is in part because it is free from the constraints of minimum space standards. The result is viable margins can be maintained at lower sale prices. Well designed this can provide essential entry level housing to the market.

We have either delivered or are in the process of delivering over 300 Prior Approval units across more than 15 developments. Here are images of two of our most recent projects.

Before

After

Before

After

 

Form Follows Force Part 2

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Here are the second batch of images on our new housing and apartment typologies. These images explore how a large scale settlement edge development can be sympathetically integrated into its setting, creating a humane settlement edge where people will love to live and impact is minimised. Let us know what you think….


Form Follows Force!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

 

 

At Snug we endeavour to create humane homes where people ‘love where they live’. Our architecture seeks always to respond positively to the forces at work upon it. These forces are derived from the characteristics of the site, the ergonomics of inhabitation and of course the clients business plan. Form follows force!

Two quotes that have always influenced our work. The first, Jorn Utzon in The Innermost Being of Architecture;

‘The true innermost being of architecture can be compared to natures seed, and something of the inevitability of nature’s principle of growth ought to be a fundamental concept in architecture. If we think of the seeds that turn into plants or trees, everything within the same genus would develop the same way if the growth potential were not so different and if each growth possessed within itself the ability to grow without compromise. On account of different conditions, similar seeds turn into widely differing organisms.’

In other words, in nature, form follows force.

Our signature design process, shrink wrapped function and the stealthed form, is a design strategy for a humane architecture. We have been refining the use of this technique to produce efficient housing layouts that respond to the forces at work on the project.

Be it the macro scale of walking around a large development, embedding and sculpturing forms into their immediate physical context or the micro scale of manoeuvring around a bed in a bedroom, we are always thinking about the way our buildings mould to the forces at work upon them.

When these forces align with the emotional requirements of the human; lighting; materials; familiar domestic forms; the design becomes not just for the human, the functional, but is for the humane, the force.

The second quote is by Steven Holl, from Anchoring;

‘Architecture is bound to site…Building transcends physical and functional requirements by fusing with a place, by gathering the meaning of a situation architecture does not so much intrude on a landscape as it serves to explain it.’

The places in which we live should help us live and orientate ourselves in the world. They should speak of who we are and how we hope to be.

We have sought to develop these ideas in the context of a series of large scale housing development, to showcase its effectiveness. We approached standard housing typologies, and applied our principles, sculpting forms that echo an arts and crafts contextual style through the contemporary use of asymmetry, chamfering, jettying, gables and pitching. This was completed by lowering the perceived scale of the larger units through stealthed forms, using rhythm in street scenes, defining lynchian nodes and routes and celebrating the edge of the sites through its relationship to its natural context, increasing its surface area and pulling views deeper into the site. The result are places that we would love to call home.

We feel we have produced a new domestic design aesthetic that is contextual, familiar and loveable. We would welcome your thoughts?

Settlement Edge

The Flats

Detached House

Planning won for Winchester’s largest social housing scheme

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Snug have just won planning permission for Winchester City Council’s largest affordable housing scheme. The project consists of 76 new affordable homes at The Valley in Stanmore and forms part the council’s ambitious New Homes Delivery programme. The scheme was unanimously approved at Committee with councillors commending both the innovative design and the consultation process.

The scheme provid​​​​​​es a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The site nestles into the steeply sloping topography of The Valley and creates a new edge to the existing park landscape. The buildings are positioned in response to existing and proposed patterns of movement through the site, serving to reinforce views and vistas. The design utilises Snug’s theory of Shrink Wrapped Function to reduce the perceived scale of the buildings, soften their impact on the landscape and relate well to the human scale. The approach to the buildings form and appearance is derived from a contextual analysis of the existing Stanmore estate’s arts and crafts vernacular and results in a significant new development that sits comfortably in its setting.

The application was developed through a comprehensive process of public engagement with the local commun​​ity and will deliver much needed affordable housing for the city by realising the potential of an under-utilised open space.

This is going to be an exciting new addition to an established estate that balances design innovation with contextual sensitivity. It is great to have been part of a development that delivers housing whilst also making meaningful enhancements to the landscape in which it sits.

Planning secured for retirement housing in the New Forest National Park

Monday, May 8th, 2017

 

We are delighted to have secured planning permission for specialist property developer, PegasusLife’s first scheme in The New Forest. Situated in The Rise Conservation Area in Brockenhurst, within the New Forest National Park, the development will comprise 24 one and two bedroom apartments exclusively for those over sixty.

The apartments will be split between three villas and a coach house to transform the site of the disused Watersplash Hotel. Sympathetically designed to fit seamlessly with the local landscape, the development will also include cleverly designed internal and external shared spaces designed to help residents and neighbours to easily socialise and create a thriving community.

Commenting on the development, Howard Phillips, CEO, PegasusLife said:

“Brockenhurst is a beautiful place and we’re looking forward to creating homes that are right for the local area and will enrich the lives of the people who will choose to live within our development.

“Having revised the scheme, we are particularly pleased that the Planning Inspectorate has agreed on a proposal that preserves and enhances the character and appearance of this wonderful Conservation Area and is also respectful of the existing hotel building.”

The defining features of the site are the historic house, prominently fronting The Rise, and the mature planting, which features two veteran oaks. To ensure the new development complements the spirit of the surrounding area, the design is a contemporary interpretation of the arts and crafts tradition.

The new accommodation is formed from three new buildings, all subservient in scale to the refurbished and extended character property. Positioned in response to the site constraints, and to fully utilise the site levels, the new buildings have familiar forms and use local materials to achieve a locally distinctive feel to the development. Rather than standard balconies, Snug designed an interstitial space, between gables of louvered timber cladding with traditionally proportioned punched hole apertures and the more generous contemporary openings from the interior. The result is an outside space for each apartment that enjoys a playful dance of light and mediates the interface between modern apartments and this sensitive context.

Snug Architects design director, Paul Bulkeley, commented:

The design makes a progressive contribution to the New Forest vernacular. We worked hard to create a place that responds sensitively and creatively to the context, enhancing both the period property and character of the area. It will be a stunning place in which to enjoy later living.”

PegasusLife is on a mission to make a fundamental change in the way that retirement property is understood and delivered in the UK. In addition to a focus on desirable locations that appeal to those in later life, the business is committed to developing high quality, flexible, well-proportioned living accommodation. PegasusLife offers all homes on a 1000-year lease and will not charge customers exit fees. Property management is provided on a not-for-profit basis.

We are grateful to the team who worked with us to develop the design and secure what is a significant provision of much needed housing in the National Park.

The Valley, Stanmore submitted for planning

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

We are pleased to have submitted a full planning application for 76 new affordable houses at the Valley, Stanmore on behalf of Winchester City Council’s New Homes Delivery. This will be their largest scheme to date.

The scheme provides a mixture of 2 and 3 bedroom houses and 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The site nestles into the steeply sloping topography creating a new edge to the existing park. The buildings  are positioned in response to existing and proposed patterns of movement through the site. The flats are pitched and facetted in response to the site geometry, reducing the perceived scale of the buildings and softening their impact on the landscape. The approach to the buildings form and appearance is derived from a contextual analysis of the existing Stanmore estate’s arts and crafts character and results in a significant new development that sits comfortably in its setting.

The application was developed through a comprehensive process of public engagement with the local community and will deliver much needed affordable housing for the city.

The Limes

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

It was lovely day at The Limes today so I thought, as I was passing, I would pop in and catch a quick photo. It looked great, nestled amongst the Lime trees on a lovely spring day.

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